New Zealand

Personalised Adventure Coach Tours

**Specialising in outdoor wilderness experiences**

<< Back

Mount Taranaki (Egmont) National Park

(Height 2,518 m) Mt Taranaki is the mountain which in superb symmetrical isolation dominates the landscape of the province of Taranaki. Its near perfect conical shape is broken by one outcrop, a secondary cone called Fanthams Peak, to the south. The Maori name, Taranaki, means 'barren mountain'.

One of the most famous of all Maori legends tells how Egmont was banished from the Ruhapehu, Tongariro and Ngaruhoe cluster in the central North Island after a fight for the affection of beautiful Mt Pihanga.  '"He then left the central mountain ranges and on his journey down to the coast carved out the Whanganui River.

The mountain was named Egmont by James Cook, when he first sighted it in January 1770, after the second Earl of Egmont, a former First Lord of the Admiralty. It has since had the Maori name, Taranaki, reinstated as an option.

The first Europeans to reach the summit were German naturalist Ernst Dieffenbach and a whaler James Heberley.

Cape Egmont is the most westerly point on the Taranaki coastline, originally named 'Cabo Pieter Boreels' by Abel Tasman who spotted the cape in December 1642. Egmont Village, near Inglewood, and Egmont Road, a railway station north-east of New Plymouth, have also taken the name.

Gecko Guide comments:

Egmont National Park, constituted in 1900, covers 33,543 ha. It is shaped like a large circle centred on the summit and extending to a point 9 km down the mountain at an altitude of 360 m.

There are camping facilities and cabins for climbers, less ambitious trampers and walkers, and one of the main attractions is the Dawson Falls, 900 m up the south-eastern side of the mountain. In this area of the mountain can be found the "Goblin Forest" and a natural water slide can be found at Wilkies pools. A plunge down this slide (especially in winter) is a sure way of getting an adrenalin rush!

<< Back

Gecko Tours Contact Details